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Olympics has 'high profile role in environmental change'

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympic 2012 games, emphasised the importance of using low carbon, sustainable materials at the Olympic site in a speech at the Think07 conference in London.

At the event, which focussed on sustainability in construction, Coe said: Sport plays a high profile role in social change, which now includes the environmental and sustainability movements. The games can help to showcase innovation in technologies and systems.

The reuse of treated soil and other materials at the Olympic Park site was highlighted by Coe as innovative and environmentally friendly.

Remediation techniques used to clean up brownfield sites include bioremediation, which uses microorganisms that eat contaminants, soil washing and thermal desorption, which cooks soil at 500 degrees centigrade to destroy harmful substances. Edmund Nuttall and Galliford Try are the contractors carrying out the remediation work.

Also speaking at the conference Culture minister David Lammy said: There is an unprecedented ground swell of public concern about the environment. More people are accepting the inconvenient truth [mentioned by Al Gore earlier in the conference].

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